As I See It 5-10
Sunday, June 10, 2007

By Joseph S. Black

      This is a most unfortunate saying that I have resented since my decision to enter the teaching profession.  As years go by, my first students have become the parents of my new students.  I have taught a school of classes.  My practice has become polished with experience and lessons hard learned.  I am not just a teacher anymore but a true educator.  I take pride in my profession and see it as not a career but a true spiritual calling.  This calling is not for everyone.  Let me digress, I realize that I have loss some of the resentment for that first statement.  I find discontentment and displeasure with others who share my title and claim to be peers and colleagues.
     I have always been an active advocate for the augmentation of teacher status and salary. I have been a vocal proponent of better working conditions and frequently pointed out the high social level given to teachers in other countries.  But a slow, sickening, and simple realization is beginning to take root as a primary notion. What if those words are applicable to some in my profession?  What if I was blinded by the virtuous beauty of education and failed to see the realistic nature of people?
     Twelve years in this profession, serving my students and supporting my colleagues have taught me a thing or two.  Teachers as a whole are passive submissive cowards. Being assertive and aggressive as a collective is not our power.  Stereotypically, we are the blind mice living on crumbs and castrated by those who once only wanted to be wives.  {Historically a good portion of the people who joined the ranks of teachers married out of the profession.  (This of course goes back to the good old days of single income families.)}
    Moral turpitude clauses, coerced acquiescence to parent whims and state standards never gave us long causes for pause. Teachers stay silent with pupils dim as they see pay cuts, lay off, and displacement.  Where is the fire and pride that other professions have?    Why don’t we take a stand?  Is this the confirmation that we “can’t do?”  We teach our students history and speech, but we don’t learn from one and don’t do the other.
     We won’t take a stand for our students or ourselves.  Our principles are bent and our convictions misspelled.  Doctors don’t have the patience for this treatment.  Lawyers would object to these contemptuous rulings.  Accountants would not give credit or be taxed by such remunerations.
     Here is a quiz all teachers should try before deciding if any of my statements were a lie.
1.  Underline the Double Entendre twice.  Circle the simile and smile. Where would you put ice?  How would you define this style?
      Teachers take note, learn to let their pupils well up, and study the text of self betrayal, like the child of an alcoholic slowly consciously raising that first cool, subtile , drink from the well?
2. Did Adam and Eve feel the same with the first taste?
3. When did teachers? class (-ification as professionals) become a waste?
4. Why are teachers revered in other countries but held in economic discontent here by native necessities?
5. What happens to great nations when they don’t invest in youth and education?
We are professionals!  College educated, state certified, and child dedicated but we find ourselves, under compensated, frequently berated, and mis-situated.
Police Officers have better benefits and fewer prerequisites.  Garbage men get better perks and have more security in their work.  Prison guards get more regard from the cell to the yard.  Babysitters get better compensation per child by hourly dispensation.  We work with 25 to 30 clients at a time; we are expected to know their individual needs and rhymes.   We take pay cuts and delayed pay. “ It’s for the children?” Is what they say?  What other career is so frequently called upon to be so dear?
If we were true advocates for students and for our own children we would demand smaller class sizes and better pay.  What democrat or republican can argue with these things?  It is time for teachers to get a decent share and for students to get more individualized care.
If Detroit teachers can shutdown a metropolis and air traffic controllers can shut down a nation, what could a confederation of teachers do?
…But teachers are meek, lambs with soft fleece and shy and tragic anti- soldiers and won’t defend each other like doctors, lawyers, bus drivers, janitors and the men in blue do.  There was no outcry from peers when a teacher was suspended for exercising free speech that went against the president.  There was no condemnation from our collective or small congregation when a teacher abused her position to get in position with her student and saw no jail time.    May be we deserved the low pay and low professional status; if we are afraid to say that school supplies should not be on us/ gratis.  Maybe we deserve the saying, those who can’t do, teach? If the lesson we learn is not to reach or preach.
This piece was written to incite teachers to take a stand that will benefit all teachers and students.  Activism, protest, self-concern, are not faults but democratic rights that if not exercised cause cost and will be lost.  Please share this piece with a teacher you know and then quiz them:
What are they doing to improve education for teachers and students?
Then ask yourself:Is this a teacher who can’t do and must teach or an educator actively trying to improve education for each?

 

Would you like to e-mail us?  Have a press release or story idea?  Questions about obituaries?  Send us your questions and comments to:

rinarisper.tncp@gmail.com

 
 

 

Click here for regular advertising rates!!!

 Check out TNCP's Birthday Advertising!!!!

Custom-embroidered logo shirts and apparel by Queensboro

Support our advertisers. Follow the link to their site:

Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau